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Bt cotton helps raise net profit of Indian farmers: Study
Dec '13
Adoption of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton technology, genetically modified variety of cotton producing an insecticide, for cultivation of the crop in India has resulted into a rise in the average net profit of farmers in the country, as per the report of a latest study conducted by the Indian Society for Cotton Improvement (ISCI).
According to the ‘Adoption and Uptake Pathways of Bt Cotton in India’ report, the result of the survey conducted by the ISCI, farmers who adopted the Bt cotton technology in the country, reported an average net profit of Rs. 41,837 per hectare at the national level.
As per the survey, the highest average net profit was recorded in the state of Punjab, with farmers reporting an average net profit of Rs. 53,139 per hectare, followed by the state of Andhra Pradesh with Rs. 39,786 per hectare, and Rs. 32,885 per hectare in the state of Maharashtra.
The ISCI survey states that Bt cotton technology has attracted young farmers to cotton farming in the country. According to the study, more than 50 percent of the respondent Bt cotton farmers were from the lower middle age group ranging from 21 to 40 years with a mean average age of 42 years for all respondents in the surveyed states.
The report informs that in the states surveyed, a substantial decrease of 82.8 percent in insecticide sprays was realized, whilst achieving 99.3 percent control of the American bollworm pest. 
Farmers in Maharashtra reported 78 percent reduction in insecticide sprays, Andhra Pradesh farmers reported 82 percent decline in use of chemical sprays, and farmers in Punjab accounted 98 percent decrease in use of insecticide sprays during cultivation, the report adds. 
The ISCI report is the result of the largest and most comprehensive survey involving 2,400 Bt cotton farmers across the three agro-ecologically distinct cotton growing states of India, namely Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. The report is co-authored by C.D Mayee, president of ISCI, and Bhagirath Choudhary, director of the South Asian department of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA).

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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